Nike retook the top spot in the global market in the late 1980s and hasn’t relinquished it since. ("Athletic Footwear Warfare: Surviving in an Oligopoly," by Samsung Economic Research Institute)

Evolution of global sneaker market

Love this chart!

Loads of S-waves1 – both on a company, and aggregate level – indicating the many innovation cycles that the industry has gone through.

Also interesting to note is how, in most equilibrium states (when one company has come to dominate), the market structure is close to the rule of 3 – each competitor has half the market share of its previous bigger competitor.

Those are just two observations. There’s so much more that I love to recognise every time I see this chart. (Despite the annotations on the top).

Source: “Athletic Footwear Warfare: Surviving in an Oligopoly,” by Samsung Economic Research Institute, in Nike’s multi-billion-dollar empire is built on air  by Quartz


  1. S-waves: Innovation S-curves, when laid together over periods longer than one innovation cycle. 
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